YEARS IN REVIEW
281st Dinner , March 24, Piperade Restaurant, San Francisco
We really challenged Chef /Owner Gerald Hirigoyen to plan an all Sauternes dinner for us. He went all out with five courses plus amuse bouches and foie gras. Bob Blumberg, Cellar Master, planned different Sauternes for each course. It was a great success and sold out.
282nd. Dinner, June 10, Prima Restaurant, Walnut Creek
Chef/Owner Peter Chastain planned a four course Tuscan dinner and paired the wines from their wine shop. We hope to return again; everyone enjoyed it all and so did he.
Vintage Tour 2018, July 21, Carneros-Napa Valley
This was a memorable tour hosted by two veterans of the California wine world. We started in the Carneros vineyard of Frank Mahoney. He hosted us at preset tables and regaled us with so much history of wine making in the area. He was one of the first to trust planting in the cooler Carneros area. We enjoyed a box lunch on site with many wine tastings. We continued on to Beaulieu Vineyards to enjoy the historical aspects of the vineyard and appreciated a special tour. The third stop was at Amuse Bouche Gallery and Tasting Room in downtown Napa where Dick Peterson (author of Winemaker and member) hosted us and continued the theme of the local history of wine. We were truly honored to be in the company of these amazing pioneers of quality wines in our area. They are so passionate about what they do and generous in sharing their knowledge and stories.
283rd. Dinner. September 21, French Club
The French Club has become a favorite annual event and we repeated the previous successful event of bringing your own vintage French bottles (red or white) to accompany all five courses. This plan really encourages the mingling of members and the fun of tastings each other’s favorite bottles.
Cheese and Wine Tasting, November 4, Watergate Emeryville
This was our eighth annual event with Janet Fletcher and the theme was “The World of Cheddars”. The Blumbergs selected 7 different world wines to pair with the 7 world cheddars and created interesting discussions on the various favorites.
80th. Anniversary Gala Dinner, Mark Hopkins, January 20, 2019
This anniversary was quite an achievement having only missed a year during WW11. Dr. Michael Caplan arranged a string trio to play during the reception hour and acted as Food Chairperson. Dr. Dan Bikle chose all the French wines which were enjoyed by all. The Mark Hopkins did a beautiful job serving fresh Crab Chowder and Wagyu Short Rib among the highlights. Another highlight of the evening was having Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Critic/Reviewer, speak about the history and future of California Wine. Susan Guerguy, Executive Secretary, was presented a life membership and museum edition of a vase upon her retirement after 16 years on the job. She was most grateful for the gifts and looks forward to staying in touch.
277th. Dinner, March 25, Piperade Restaurant, San Francisco
It is always a pleasure to return to Piperade and have Chef/Owner Gerald Hirigoyen plan a special five course menu for us. We concentrated on his Basque favorites and the wine chairs Susan Anacker and Jack McElroy enjoyed tasting many Basque and Spanish wines to pair with the menu. Everyone enjoyed it and we sold out.
278th. Dinner, June 19, French Club
The French Club has become the annual favorite location. The theme this year was Burgundies and Larry Dennen M.D. took charge to choose various appellation pairings. Mel Knox, Barrel Importer, gave a very inormative talk on “Oak Barrels and the Taste of Wine”. You will find the transcript in the June Newsletter on our website.
Vintage Tour 2018, July 15, Anderson Valley
The vintage tour digressed somewhat from wine to also include cheese. We toured the new PennyRoyal Goat Farm in Booneville and were sereved a delicious lunch on the terrace. PennyRoyal is connected to Navarro and also make their own wines. We continued up the road to tour Navarro which has been a favorite with SMFW for a long time. The tour was followed by a tasting and in the heat many members enjoyed their new bottles of their chilled grape juice. Family style dinner in the patio of Pizza Diavola in Geyserville was generous and delicious before heading back to the Bay Area in the bus.
Cheese and Wine Tasting, August 6, Watergate, Emeryville
This year, Janet Fletcher created a very interesting theme “Us versus Them”. She paired a domestic with a European similar type, i.e. triple cream, alpine, blue and camembert type. Bob Blumberg, Cellar Master, in turn paired two sparkling wines, two Chardonnays, two red Burgundies and two Ports.
Kenefick Ranch Luncheon, August 26, Calistoga
We finally found a date this year to accept Thomas Kenefick M.D. (past president) and owner of Kenefick Ranch Winery in Calistoga invitation to a non hosted luncheon and tasting on his beautiful Calistoga property. Lunch and Wines were enjoyed by all albeit the temperature hitting over 100F.
279th. Dinner, October 22, Piazza d’Angelo, Mill Valley
Dan Bikle M.D. PhD. of Mill Valley planned an excellent Italian dinner on the patio of Pizza d’Angelo. Members enjoyed a five course dinner paired with interesting wines and thanks to the Boothes and Brunello 2007. It was a pleasure to work with the owners and we hope to return.
79TH. Annual Anniversary Dinner, January 21, Nikko Hotel San Francisco
We were happy to return to the Nikko this year since their remodel. Fiona Donald M.D. our wine chair, concentrated on supporting Napa and Sonoma wineries that had been affected by the October fires. She included Domaine Carneros, Stag’s Leap, Gundlach Bundschu, Chateau St. Jean and Topaz. The wines paired beautifully with the Salmon Tartare and Fillet Mignon menu. Bob Blumberg M.D. gave very informative talk on “To Cellar and not to Cellar that is the Question”.
273rd. Luncheon, March 20, Waterbar Restaurant, San Francisco
This was the Society’s first experiment in switching Saturday dinners to a Sunday luncheon. We started of with Delamotte Champagne and oysters on the terrace overlooking the Bay and Bridge.
In keeping with Waterbar’s reputation for seafood a lobster bisque started us off, followed by pan seared Black Cod. We tasted a Roland Lavantureux Chablis, a Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc and a Shafer reserve Chardonnay. The food and wines overlooking the Bay was a very special event.
274th. Dinner, June 10, French Club, San Francisco
Meeting at the French Club has become an annual event for SMFW. The candlelit long table and food and service is always a treat and very popular with all of our members. The theme this year was “Share the Table, Share your Bottle”. Everyone brought their favorite white Burgundy or favorite vintage red Bordeaux which created great comparisons and discussions. All of these wines paired well with the club’s five course dinner. Our legal counsel and Dr. Blumberg announced the progress of changing
“The Society of Medical Friends of Wine’s” non-profit status to a 501 C 3. thank you to all involved for their work and effort to make this happen.
Wine and Cheese Tasting, August 7th. Watergate, Emeryville
Janet Fletcher took us on a tour of “West of the Rockies” this year. Our cellar master, Bob Blumberg M.D. took us on a tour of the western states, Washington, Oregon and California to pair with the cheeses. These events always create interesting discussions of favorite cheeses and wines and Janet
Fletcher never fails to find interesting and often hard to find items on the market and is very educational.
275th. Dinner, October 22nd. Uncle Yu’s, Lafayette Ca.
Uncle Yu’s created a unique eight course banquet. The food was outstanding. But, the main challenge was the wine pairing. Our Alsatian specialist, Dr. Larry Dennen rose to the occasion by selecting nine different varietals all from this region. Needless to say the service staff were busy changing glasses.
Our very own member, Dr. Richard Peterson, spoke about his winemaking life, which he has written about in detail in his recently published “The Winemaker”. It is a must read of any wine enthusiast and especially those who have witnessed the development of the quality of California wine.
78th. Annual Anniversary Dinner, January 21st. 2017, Trader Vic’s Emeryville
Members were excited to celebrate its 78th. Anniversary. SMFW is the oldest wine society in the country. We met at Trader Vic’s, Emeryville and since we found ourselves during the Chinese new year festivities, the dragons helped us celebrate. Members socialized over Bubbles and Appetizers overlooking San Francisco Bay. Frances Dinkelspiel, author and reporter spoke to us about the early history of wine making in California and reminded us that Fr. Junipero Serra was most likely the first winemaker, planting Mission grapes to make sacramental wine. We were especially interested in her recent book, “Tangled Vines” which highlights many winemakers and winery owners who lost their wine in the 2005 Vallejo fire thanks to Mark Anderson now in jail.
269th. Dinner March 29. Bluestem Brasserie, San Francisco
Bluestem was a new venue for SMFW. Everyone enjoyed this American Brasserie.
Foie Gras is back and was perfectly prepared. Our hosts, the owners, Stacy and Jed spoke on the issues of running restaurants in San Francisco today so that we could appreciate the costs involved. The food was complemented with all California wines.
270th . Dinner May 29th. French Club, San Francisco
The French Club is another of SMFW’s favorite locations. Chef Leon Balbastre served up a traditionally classic French Menu and our host Tom Paige chose his favorite roasted Pheasant with Wild Mushrooms. Thank you Larry Dennen for choosing many of your finest Burgundies and speaking on Burgundy Trends.
Wine and Cheese Tasting, August 9th. Watergate, Emeryville
Janet Fletcher took us to Switzerland this year figuratively speaking. After France, Italy, Spain and N. California in the past four years we enjoyed 7 unique Swiss cheeses this year. Hard, blue, creams, cow, sheep and goat selections. Thank you Andres Anacker for taking up the challenge of finding Swiss wines to match. It turns out that the Swiss sell enough of its best wines in Switzerland that it is hard to find the good ones over here.
Vintage Tour 2015, September 20th. Napa Valley
Art-Bubbles- Lobster feed in the Vineyards
Members enjoyed a very diverse tour to Napa. We started at HESS Family Vineyards savoring their wines after a very interesting docent led tour of their art gallery. We then picnicked under the redwoods in Yountville part, it was fun though we had to battle 100 degrees and observe the earliest start of harvest ever. Mumm-Napa bubbles welcomed us on the Oak Terrace and a tour of their art gallery and collection of Ansel Adams. The gallery was a cooler respite. Our last stop was to Whitehall Lane Winery to enjoy a tour and tasting followed by a fantastic spread of fresh Maine Lobster. A true clambake format and sitting in the vineyards watching the sun set over Napa Valley!!
271st. Dinner October 17th. Piperade, San Francisco
Piperade was another new location for SMFW. Mark Rosenberg and Bob Blumberg planned a delicious dinner with Chef/Owner Gerald Hirigoyen. In keeping with the Spanish and Basque theme, Bob Blumberg presented a very educational tasting on Sherry. Bob explained illustated the differences between Fino, Amontillado and Oloroso
Sherries. Chef Hirigoyen served a mostly Basque five course delicious dinner.
77th. Annual Anniversary, January 23rd. 2016, Nikko Golden Gate Room
SMFW returned to the Nikko to celebrate the 77th. Gala Dinner. We were thrilled to welcome Maureen Downey, DWS CWE as speaker. Ms. Downey is a world expert on Wine Fraud and spoke very eloquently on the process of examining suspect bottles.
Thank you Colin Reed for choosing an interesting selection of Rhône Wines. Another highlight of the evening was Bob Blumberg’s “Mystery Wine Tasting” in keeping with the speaker’s topic. Each table had to guess whether their vintage bottle of Bordeaux was true or false. This created a very interesting discussion and we are proud of our members’ palettes.
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